Andre Villas-Boas backs David Cameron's view on chanting of 'Yid' by Tottenham supporters

The Prime Minister says fans should not be prosecuted

Andre Villas-Boas thinks David Cameron's comments regarding chants including the word 'Yid' will be music to the ears of Tottenham fans.

The Prime Minister joined the debate surrounding chanting of the word on Tuesday, telling the Jewish Chronicle that Spurs supporters should not be prosecuted by the police, so long as they are not motivated by hate.

"There's a difference between Spurs fans self-describing themselves as Yids and someone calling someone a Yid as an insult," Cameron said.

"You have to be motivated by hate. Hate speech should be prosecuted - but only when it's motivated by hate."

Tottenham fans have called themselves "Yids" "Yiddos" or the "Yid Army" for many years as an act of defiance towards those who ridicule the club's links with the Jewish community.

The Football Association warned that such chanting could lead to a banning order or criminal prosecution, but the issue is muddied by the fact that police would have to prove the person chanting the Y-word did so with the idea of causing offence.

Tottenham insist there is no malice intended by the chanting, although they are planning to distribute a questionnaire to season ticket holders asking them if they think it is time to stop the chants.

On Wednesday, the club's manager Villas-Boas said he did not object to Cameron's involvement in the matter.

"He can get involved anywhere, he is the Prime Minister," Villas-Boas said.

"I think his intervention was probably what Spurs fans would want to hear.

"It was straightforward in what he came out with and it was clear."

The club's fans acted defiantly to the FA's statement last week when they chanted the Y-word during Spurs' win over Norwich on Saturday and they also repeatedly chanted "We'll sing what we want".

Several anti-discrimination groups have objected to the chanting of "Yid" at White Hart Lane, but Villas-Boas has given his backing to the club's stance.

Villas-Boas hopes the debate does not drag on without conclusion.

"Hopefully this won't be an ongoing debate that will lead to nowhere," the 35-year-old said.

"I think our fans sing it with pride, it is something that they defend. It is not sang with offence.

"I see no problem with it. The problem is finding out what is seen as an offence. That is why the FA has come out and made a statement so hopefully this won't become a debate that leads nowhere."

Villas-Boas' words came after players' leader Clarke Carlisle called on Tottenham to stop their fans using the word.

Carlisle, chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), said he agreed with the comedian David Baddiel who argued that there would be an outcry if a team with old roots in the black community appropriate racist language.

Carlisle told Press Association Sport: "Do they have a right to appropriate that term when it would be indescribably offensive to anyone else?

"David Baddiel says that's how it feels as a Jewish man going to Tottenham and hearing them chant that. If it is highly offensive to him then I think Spurs have to take that on board, because he will not be the only person.

"It is not for them to appropriate a derogatory offensive term that was used to belittle a whole section of society in a terrible era."

Carlisle, speaking at a book signing of his autobiography 'You Don't Know Me But... A Footballer's Life', pointed out that such chants breached the law.

He added: "I don't feel it's right. Spurs fans may not intend for it to be offensive but it will be perceived to be offensive by a section of the community and the law states that's not allowed - it's not even my personal opinion, that's what the law states."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us